Most of us at least one times in our life experience leg cramps at night. Anyone who has ever woken up at night with a leg cramp acknowledges how painful it could be when their muscles suddenly contract. These painful, sudden knots, called charley horses, are resulted by muscle spasms that often impact the thighs or the calves – particularly, the quadriceps or the hamstrings. The cramps could last from several seconds to 15 minutes or even more.
Actually, it is not easy to pinpoint the cause of leg cramps with certainty. Maybe, the culprit is the combination of hot weather and exercise, which could result in dehydration as well as imbalances of salt and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium – which help in regulating muscle contraction. It is no surprise that those athletes like triathletes or marathon runners are prone to suffer from this condition than others. However, those at greatest risk of leg cramps are people older than 65 and those who are overweight or ill.
Actually, in most cases, night leg cramps are nearly harmless and could be relieved or prevented with some easy, simple stretching techniques or self-care measures. Nevertheless, if they happen regularly and lead to extreme discomfort, then you need to see a doctor. Yet, if you case is not too severe, so before going to see your doctor, you can consider some easy home remedies for leg cramps first. Here, from Wikinutri.net, we introduce some tips on how to stop leg cramps at night and in the morning naturally. Some information in this entry is referred from WebMD, dDdavidwilliams and Medicinenet. Take a quick look!
How To Stop Leg Cramps At Night – 7 Home Remedies
1. Stay Hydrated
The easiest thing you could do to stop leg cramps and prevent further occurrence is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water and other fluids during the day will keep you from becoming dehydrated – one of the most common causes of leg cramps. Also, it helps your muscles contract and then relax much more easily. Particularly, it is more important to replenish the fluids upon engaging in exercise and to continue getting water as well as other fluids after being active.
The next easy tip on how to stop leg cramps is to stretch the spot. Once your cramps happen, you stop, drop and stretch. Or, you could treat yourself with a gentle massage to hit the knot.
That will help you relax the cramping muscle. Remember, it is important to stop any activity that might have induced your cramps and slightly stretch your muscle and gently hold the stretch. Even, you could massage your muscle both while and after stretching. Apply a heat as mentioned below to the spot of cramping after stretching.
3. Take Magnesium
According to Sarah Thompson, an acupuncturist and doula at the Sacred Vessel Acupuncture, magnesium is very important for those who often suffer from leg cramps, especially those pregnant women with muscle cramps. However, more studies need to be carried out. If you get pregnant, consult your doctor before taking supplements.
If you often suffer from leg cramps, you should add more foods rich in magnesium to your daily diet. Seeds and nuts are great sources of this vitamin.
4. Take A Hot Soak
When it comes to natural ways on how to stop leg cramps, maybe the most relaxing is to take hot soak. A large number of professionals like coaches, trainers, and physical therapists recommend leg cramp sufferers to take magnesium from the outside, in the form of Epsom salts. This is a traditional remedy. You can do it by applying Epsom salts to a wet cloth and the press it onto the cramped muscles. Or, you can ask some Epsom salts to your hot bath and soak.
A hot soak will supply a quick relief from leg cramps, both with or without Epsom salts. If it is not convenient for you to take a hot soak, then consider dry heat in the form of a heating pad. It also brings the similar effects. First, use the pad on the lowest setting, just increase the heat if you do not get any soothing at all. Yet, if you have a spinal cord injury or diabetes, or any other condition that may prevent you from feeling the heat, your best option is not a heating pad.
5. Walk On A Cod Tile Floor
According to a ballerina, her calves sometimes cramp up. Especially, when she lies down, it gets very painful. So, her ballet teacher suggested a tip: walk on a cold tile floor. Surprisingly, this really worked for her instantly. So, you can try this tip if the remedies mentioned above do not work.
6. Do Light Exercise
Another way on how to stop leg cramps at night and in the morning is to do light exercise. For example, you could ride a stationary bike for several minutes before going to bed to help prevent the occurrence of cramps whilst you are sleeping. Or, just simply walking around can also help relieve your leg cramps. This will send signals that your muscles need to contract and relax. In simple words, it is like hitting your muscles’ reset button.
7. Take Capsules Of Turmeric And Curcuminoids
According to some former leg cramp sufferers, taking 1-2 capsules of 500 mg turmeric with 95% curcuminoids for a few weeks can help relieve muscle or leg cramps. Just make sure that you take it early in the day as it might disturb your sleep once taken later. Of course, consider your doctor before taking these capsules.
There, you have discovered 7 out of most effective natural home remedies on how to stop leg cramps at night and in the morning. Apart from these solutions, you should also take some preventative measures to prevent leg cramps from happening again. Some of them include:
• Opting for the right shoes that can support your feet properly and prevent leg cramps
• Loosening or untucking the bed sheets as well as other covers at the foot of the bed.
In case that all self-care health tips above do not work for you, you had better consult your doctor for the best treatment.